This goes out to all my fantastic friends and family in the soaked and partially underwater yet still fabulous city of Austin. Some fake sand, a couple lawn chairs, this tropical mango banana smoothie and bunch of mini umbrellas are all you need to be transported to one of those all-inclusive resorts in Cabo or the Bahamas. Ok. So maybe the cloudy skies and six feet of water kind of put a damper on the tropical thing, but that's what the mini umbrellas are for. Ha. We in California didn't have the insane rain of our Austin brethren, but this past weekend was decidedly gloomy - a common occurrence over the last week. Nonetheless, we decided to take the family on a short hike at Paramount Ranch in the Santa Monica mountains. The views were muddled by the clouds, but fantastic all the same. Note for next time: we need to find a better way to include the little man on these excursions if we want to beat our current hiking PR of a 60-minute mile. Maybe he just didn't get enough of the actual mango banana smoothie as he insisted on chowing down strictly on the granola topping. For the hubby and I, this was the perfect was to start the last day of the long weekend. Delicious and filling with just enough umph to give us the boost we needed until lunch - because munchies are heavy hiking companions. Note: I prefer to use frozen fruit when making smoothies. I prefer the thick consistency it creates, plus, I don't have an automatic ice maker so I'm trying to reduce my ice consumption until a new fridge is procured. If you don't have frozen fruit, just add a cup of ice to the mixture. It probably won't be eat with a spoon thick, but the taste factor will be just as strong.